(Update: Adding video, chief nursing officer comments)
BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- Officials at St. Charles Health System are breathing a cautious sigh of relief after going into this typically busy holiday weekend short-staffed and at full capacity, and reaching out for the county and state help.
St. Charles Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Robinson told NewsChannel 21 on Monday, "Are we out of the woods? Absolutely not, but we're sitting in good shape right now, with capacity and staffing."
Just last week, the health system was looking for help in just about every place it could.
"We went into this weekend with every single bed, acute care and critical care, within our system full. and an additional 15 patients (in the Emergency Department) waiting for beds," Robinson said.
She added while the hospital did not specifically request National Guard help (which would have needed approval by the governor), many other measures were taken, including getting assistance from the Oregon Health Authority.
"We did get some additional resources internally,” Robinson said. “We did reach out to all of our caregivers, asking anyone who has availability to work this weekend."
Typically, holiday weekends see an influx of trauma patients, with injuries coming from boating or automobile accidents. But, an expected surge of non-COVID patients never came.
"We're seeing about average weekend volume, but not for a holiday weekend," Robinson said.
In fact, the Bend hospital saw a drop of 10 patients with COVID-19, from 42 on Friday to 32 on Monday, six of them in the ICU and three on ventilators.
But Robinson says that number may not stay low for long.
"Even though our numbers have dropped today, we anticipate in one to two weeks, we'll see them jump back up," she said.
Even with more and more Central Oregonians getting vaccinated, Robinson said 98 percent of their COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated, and she urged the community to keep their guard up.